Two former scientists at Cornell University used made-up data in 12 different scientific papers published between 2008 and 2016, according to new reports by the federal Office of Research Integrity.
The researchers—biochemistry professor Kotha Subbaramaiah and medical professor Dr. Andrew Dannenberg—taught at Cornell’s Weill School of Medicine, and much of their research focused on cancer. They were found to have engaged in misconduct in research conducted with federal grant money; specifically, they “recklessly reused Western blot images from the same source and falsely relabeled them to represent different proteins and/or experimental results,” according to the ORI report.
According to Retraction Watch, Dr. Dannenberg had received nearly $8 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health since 1995, and Subbaramaiah received over $1 million between 2005 and 2009.
Weill launched investigations into the pair’s research last year, and the ORI followed up with an external review. The researchers retired within three months of each other, between late 2020 and early 2021.
To date, 18 studies by Subbaramaiah and 20 by Dr. Dannenberg have been retracted for including falsified data, according to the Retraction Watch database.
Subbaramaiah agreed not to accept research funding from any federal agencies until 2030, and Dr. Dannenberg’s research over the same period will be supervised by senior faculty members at any institution he works for. Both researchers are banned from serving on peer-review committees for the next seven years.